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Can Tazorac Pose Risk to Pregnancy?
from Jennifer S.

Ed:  I have been using Dovonex and Ultravate together for the last few months.  I am almost out and have a prescription for Tazorac.  I haven’t used this prescription, yet, because the other two were working for me.  Now, however, they don’t seem to be.

I am curious about Tazorac and have been searching the Internet for a couple of days trying to find information in it.  I think I may be pregnant and I don’t want to start taking it if it’s going to cause problems.

I read in one site that you must not get pregnant or be pregnant if using it.  Well, although if I’m not pregnant I don’t plan on trying to become that way, I am married and sometimes you can’t stop it.

I would hate to be taking something that could cause my unborn child harm just so I can wear shorts again. 

If you know anything about this, I would appreciate a response.  I have only been fighting this for a couple of years, but it’s been a very long and frustrating couple of years.  Thanks for your time and for FlakeHQ.  -Jennifer S.


Ed’s Response:  According to the National Psoriasis Foundation’s educational booklet titled Topical Retinoid Therapy, Tazorac should be avoided if your are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant.  Here’s their wording:

If you become pregnant while on Tazorac, you are advised to quit applying the medication and see your physician immediately.  Although in clinical trials Tazorac did not cause any birth defects in the children of women who got pregnant while using it, retinoids are known to cause birth defects when given by mouth.  Tazorac presently has no oral form.

The concern is about traces of the drug absorbed through the skin and lingering inside you.

Interestingly enough, Jennifer, Dovonex sports a caution against use by pregnant women, too.  (My source is NPF’s educational booklet titled Topical Vitamin D3.)

(The educational booklets referenced are available online to NPF Members at

You may want to ask your derm about the new (to flakers) topical ointment Protopic.  It is not a vitamin derivative or a corticosteroid but reports of good results for plaque P sufferers are piling in.  I just started trying it myself.  I haven’t heard if Protopic poses any danger to pregnancy, but it may be worth a call.

Let us know how you fare.  If/when you do get pregnant, let us know if your flaking changes.  A significant percentage of women clear during pregnancy and a multi-year study has just been launched in California to explore the possible hormonal relationship between pregnancy and plaque clearing.

Good luck to you. -Ed

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